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News News
Agriculture Commissioner
Article By: by Texas State Rep. Larry Phillips
Posted: 9/3/2014 Views: 444  Impressions: 13051
Categories: Politics



This November, Texas voters will elect someone new to most of the state-wide offices: the Office of the Governor; Lieutenant Governor, Comptroller, Agriculture Commissioner, Land Commissioner, and Railroad Commissioner. Over the next several weeks, I will talk about the duties and powers of each office, and how the office effects the lives of Texans.
The Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner is one of the few elected heads of a state agency. The Department is crucial to the state's economy in many ways, and although most Texans now live in urban areas, the Department of Agriculture effects all Texans. The Commissioner directs this agency, which regulates the farming and ranching industries; all fuel pumps in Texas to ensure drivers get the correct quality and amount of fuel; all weights and measures devices, such as grocery store scales and retail price scanners; pesticide use and application from residential to commercial use; and certifies organically-produced products.
The Department works to protect agricultural crops, such as citrus and cotton, from harmful pests and diseases; facilitates trade and market development of agricultural commodities ranging from livestock to crops; provides financial assistance to farmers and ranchers in the form of loan guarantees, interest rate reductions and even grants for young farmers; administers grant funds for agricultural research to develop new technologies; advocates for policies at the federal, state, and local level that are beneficial to the $106 billion agriculture sector, which comprises 10% of the Texas economy.
Through the Office of Rural Affairs, the Department seeks to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in rural Texas. Taking advantage of available federal funds and a statewide outreach network, this office provides rural communities the tools needed to attract and retain businesses, expand and improve public infrastructure, and secure quality health care.
The National School Lunch and Breakfast programs for Texas school children are administered by the agency, as is the GO TEXAN program. GO TEXAN promotes the states culture, products, and communities of Texas, both in-state and nationally.
For more information on the Department or any other matter of state government, please contact my office by writing to P.O. Box 2910, Austin, TX 78768-2910 or by emailing me at larry.phillips@house.state.tx.us. My district office phone number is (903) 891-7297.




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